Monday, 9 May 2011
The whole reason I came to Niamey was to get fingerprinted for my permis du séjour. A month ago I received an email letting me know that everything would be ready to go since I would only be in town two business days.
But this morning, we received a phone call making sure I had the Form I’ve Never Heard of Before. Which, of course, I did not. But no problem! It could be taken care of from here. Unfortunately, however, there was something else that needed to be gotten from The Justice of Something or Other by someone in the office and I would have to wait until tomorrow morning to be able to go for fingerprinting. C’est la vie.
On our way out of the office, the Directrice of Personnel called to me . . . ‘Deb.! Wait! It’s for you!’ I popped back in and was handed a cell phone. ‘It’s A., he need’s your mother’s name in order to file your paperwork.’
‘Oui, hello?’ I asked into the phone. ‘Oui, Déborah, je besoin de nom de votre mère.’ (Deborah, I need your mother’s name) I was about to give her maiden name, when DoP whispered, ‘her first name . . . they only use her first name and the initial of her maiden name.’ That would be much easier! ‘Robin.’ I said. ‘R-O-B-I-N’ (which in French sounds like: eR-Oh-bAy-Ee-eN).
‘Er‘ he repeated.
‘Oui.‘ I said.
I tried again. ‘Errr-Oooh-baaay----’
‘Er-oh’ he echoed.
‘Non . . . er-oh-BAY . . . comme ballon’
‘Non! Er-oh-bee-EE-EN! Est-ce que c’est plus facile pour moi d’envoyer un SMS, un texto?’ (Would it be easier for me to send a text?’)
‘Non, ça marche. (No, this is working.) Er-oh-bee-el.’ He said once more.
‘PAS DE “L” . . . C’est “N” . . . “I-N” . . . R-O-B-I-N!’ Feeling incredibly frustrated with the whole thing, I handed the phone to the DoP and pulled out my mobile to send him a text. Funny how easily that worked.